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California State University, Long Beach
Web Comm, California State University, Long Beach
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Web Accessibility: Forms


This module makes use of materials found in Accessible HTML/XHTML Forms by Ian Lloyd.

§1194.22(n) When electronic forms are designed to be completed online, the form shall allow people using assistive technology to access the information, field elements, and functionality required for completion and submission of the form, including all directions and cues.

The first thing to learn about creating accessible forms is that most form elements must be labelled so a screen reader will provide the right cues. This is usually done using the label attribute embedded in both the prompt (text describing a field) and the field. Here are the most common form elements:

Form Elements

  • form: contains the form and specifies what script to use to process the form
  • input: comes in several types (text, buttons, radio buttons, and checkboxes)
  • textarea: for entering multi-line text, such as comments
  • select: otherwise known as the drop-down-list, or the pull-down menu (depending on your preference)

The rest of this module will explore accessibility for these elements as they occur individually, in groups, in option groups, and then special cases.

Next Section: Labeling Form Elements